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Jake Roberts Recalls The Rock’s WWE Debut, His History With Rock’s Family

November 29, 2023 | Posted by Andrew Ravens
The Rock WWE Raw 6-10-2002, Young Rock Dwayne Johnson Image Credit: WWE

On the latest episode of The Snake Pit with Jake Roberts, the WWE Hall of Famer talked about The Rock making his WWE debut at the Survivor Series pay-per-view event in 1996. You can check out some highlights below:

On his history with The Rock’s family: “I used to travel with his father, Rocky Johnson. But I traveled with him of course, and met his mother and all that back in — oh, gosh, back when I was in Florida. Just a young kid [Rock], and then years later — that kind of tells you you’re getting old whenever you’re thinking about a nine-year-old boy and now all of a sudden, he’s 19 or 20. Ynd you’re like, ‘Holy s**t, what happened there?’ So 12 years went by, I don’t even remember it. But so when he came into the WWF, it was cool, man.”

On a young Rock: “His dad wrestled. His grandfather wrestled. My dad wrestled. It’s one big family-type situation. And he was real humble. His body was just unbelievable. Of course, you know, he had it all. All he needs to learn. That was how to have a character be a character. Does he add all the parts and pieces? He just didn’t know how to use them, how to project them, or how to get them over. But he learned quickly.”

On whether he spent time with Peter Maivia: “No, I didn’t, I was never around him. I spent a lot of time with Rocky Johnson but never around the chief. I missed that.”

On Rocky Johnson being too cartoonish: “Too much. Yeah. Too soft. Yeah, it was a cartoon. Everything was loose.”

On The Rock’s debut gimmick: “You gotta start somewhere.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Snake Pit with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.